TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light (2011): Review

Hack Stats

Music OMH – 9
Q Magazine – 8
Mojo – 8
Uncut – 8
The Telegraph – 8
NME – 8
The Guardian – 8
Drowned In Sound – 7
The Hackskeptic – 7
BBC Music – 6
The Fly – 5
The Independent – 4

Average 7.2/10

For better or worse “Nine Types Of Light” marks a significant step away from the bold experimentation of previous releases in favour of more rounded song structures, conventional rhythms and clearer melodies. It is still unmistakeably TV On The Radio, and there is still a unique level of creativity given to each song, but overall the album leans more towards mainstream than any preceding recording. Never before has the influence of Prince been more apparent as Tunde Adebimpe delivers his soulful mix of baritone and falsetto whilst the band maintain the supportive grooves which range vastly in tempo throughout the whole experience.

Of the down tempo numbers “Killer Crane” superbly transports the listener to the late 60s world of wilfully spaced out invention, with a sitar and mellotron for added authenticity. When the rhythms and noise ratchet up a notch, “Repetition” and “Caffeine Consciousness” highlights the band’s continued ability to create alternative music with addictively stomping beats. The sad loss of bass player Gerard Smith to lung cancer just days after release casts a sombre shadow over this and past projects, emphasising his vital input to some of the irresistible songs the band have delivered over the last decade.

Overall, it’s a strong, mature performance that trades in some of the tense, abrasive rock of their first two albums, for a more refined, mellow, and often dance oriented take that shows a level of genuine progression. Some of the raw energy may have been lost, but TV On The Radio have invested their skill in more detailed arrangements to flesh out much of this fine collection.


Track By Track Rating

1 Second Song 8
2 Keep Your Heart 6
3 You 6
4 No Future Shock 6
5 Killer Crane 8
6 Will Do 8
7 New Cannonball Blues 5
8 Repetition 8
9 Forgotten 7
10 Caffeinated Consciousness 8

Nine Types Of Light Documentary


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